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In a variety of media, Lauren Greenfield has been documenting the culture of wealth for a quarter of a century. Her latest work has three components, including the documentary GENERATION WEALTH (the other two are a book and an art exhibit). All three trace the phenomenon to 1971, when the United States went off the gold standard, which Is also when the price of gold skyrocketed from $32 an ounce to an ever-fluctuating four figures. As with everything else in the film, it’s a cogent observation, illustrated by a variety of fascinating characters from all strata of economic classes.
When we spoke on April 4, 2018, I acknowledged the seriousness of her film (and the scenario if depicts), but I chose to start with a semi-serious question, the which she answered with the sort of erudition and insight that I had also found in her film.
We went on to talk about the blurring of reality and reality television; consumerism as addiction; and how a question that the film brought up became a very personal one for Greenfield.
We finished up with Greenfield talking about how the three aspects of her study relate to one another, the contextualization of decadence, and where the election of Trump fits into the cultural landscape